Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interning at Con Nosotros

I have had tons of interesting adventures in Mexico, but none have been as inspirational as my Internship. As a social work student I am required to hold a social work related internship during my semester in Mexico. I am interning with Con Nosotros (meaning “with us” in Spanish).  Con Nosotros is a nonprofit school for children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that describes various motor-neurological symptoms that result from a brain injury inflicted during pregnancy, birth, or the first 1-3 years of life. Cerebral palsy varies from mild in that it may only cause a child to be slightly uncoordinated to severe in that a child can’t walk, or even talk. Cerebral palsy is not a defect with the muscular system; instead the brain struggles to send the neuron signals to the muscles to tell them to move. The cool thing about cerebral palsy is that with physical training, especially at a young age the brain can be trained to send neuron signals out faster and coordination can be increased. This is where Con Nosotros comes in. 

Con Nosotros uses a school of thought called conductive education. Conductive education originated in Hungary and is different from physical therapy in that it “educates” people that have Cerebral Palsy on how to be more independent. So instead of performing exercises to become more mobile, these children are taught to use this mobility to do things like brush their own teeth, get dressed, or use a phone.

Con Nosotros was started by four Mexican parents that have children with cerebral palsy and wanted an educational option for their children. In conversations I have had with my supervisor Itzel I have learned that there is no place for children with disabilities in the public school system simply because the resources are not available. Con Nosotros is the only school of its kind in Mexico, and one of few options for children that have any sort of special need in the country. I have had the pleasure of working with an incredible organization that strives to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy while trying to change the thought process of society in regards to disability. 

-By Grace McLagan


  1. Hi, Grace! Thanks for such a detailed and vivid description of your field education -- hope you all are doing well!

  2. Awesome job Grace! I have really enjoyed reading your tidbit about your field placement this semester. Really interesting to me is conductive education and how I have heard you describe it a little bit in your entry and in class that it is a lifestyle not just therapy. Which I think is especially important to empower those in which you worked with and may continue to work with in the future. Also interesting was that Con Nosotros is the only school of its kind in Mexico. I hope that the mission and education of Con Nosotros spreads so that more people benefit from the progressive education that those at Con Nosotros are benefiting from. Im really glad you had this experience this semester, it was such a great opportunity for you!